Have Ewe Any Wool?

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sweet Charity

This past week I've been busy finishing up a couple of charity projects that absolutely positively had to be completed by Feb. 1.

The first project was a scarf for the "Red Scarf Project". This is the second year I've participated in this project that's sponsored by the "Orphan Foundation of America". It's a very worthwhile cause - everyone needs to feel special! The scarf is K2p2 across an odd number of stitches so you end the row with either a k1 or p1. This makes a nice reversible scarf. I think it's the same pattern my friend Kay used for her Noro scarf last December.

The second charity project was a Noni bag. A friend of mine had seen the "Night Garden Felted Evening Bag" that I'd made for myself, and asked if I would make one for the silent auction at the "Leukemia Ball" scheduled for February 24th. This event is sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The bag is a copyrighted pattern (which limits you to personal use), so I contacted the designer to get her permission to use it. Nora, the designer of the Noni bags, graciously granted me permission to make one for this worthy cause. Thanks Nora!

I managed to ship off my skein of hand spun to my "Spin-to-Knit" secret pal. She's received it and seems quite please with both the skein and the "goodies" I sent along with it. I also got a sneak peek at the skein my friend Mia made for her secret pal. Sorry, no real details here as I don't want to give away our identities - we still have to do the February skein!

Finally, I'm a bit behind due to a bad cold last week, so my final package for SP9 is getting mailed tomorrow. I've been in frequent touch with my secret pal, so she knows I haven't forgotten her....and that she has a third package coming soon! (Geez.....getting a cold really cuts down on the knitting, spinning, and trips to the post office!)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Townsend Socks Bag Swap - Thanks Sue!

Wow! I'm sooooo spoiled. We've been doing a swap on the Townsend Socks Knit Along Yahoo Group (a FABULOUS source of wonderful sock patterns!!!!), and today, I received a TOTALLY awesome package from my "Bag Swap Pal", Sue. The rules were that the swap was to include a bag (hand made or store bought - big enough for a sock project), a sock pattern, yarn for a pair of socks, and some goodies/trinkets.

Sue has really gone above and beyond! In addition to the fabulous bag and all the cool stuff attached, the picture on the left shows everything I received: a cute 3-D card, stitch markers (or earrings -– I can use them either way - how fabulous!), and a silky purple scarf (yum!). The bag itself was stuffed to the brim with 3 skeins of gorgeous Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn, a copy of Yankee Magazine, a Razor Shell Socks pattern, a booklet of patterns ("“Sock Hop"”) with FOURTEEN patterns inside, a set of beaded (purple of course) knitting needles, Neccos candy (brings back memories of childhood.....ahhhh...), Harry and David Truffles (chocolate - – yum!!!), a tape measure, some "Soak"” wool wash, and some coffee to keep me going....and you all know how I love coffee! I think that'’s everything.

The picture on the right shows a close up of the felted bag (in "to die for" colors), the hand-crafted scissors fob and scissors, the hand-crafted neck chain with yarn cutter, and the hand-crafted shawl pin....shaped like a sheep!!!!

Thanks so much Sue! You have truly spoiled me!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Blocking a Scarf.....Complete with "Signature"

I finally cast off the Inca Alpaca scarf that I'm making for a friend. It's been washed and soaked and is now blocking.

Much to my horror, I discovered a major error near the middle of the scarf (see bottom of picture below)! Amazing, isn't it, how blocking "reveals" your worst fears? After assessing the "damage" for a moment, I recalled another friend's hand-knit sweater with a slight error on one shoulder. She cherished that sweater as it had been knit for her by her mom. She said that the "error" wasn't really an error, but instead, her mother's signature....just as an artist signs her painting, her mother signed her work of art!

So, I've decided that the error isn't so bad. It's near the middle of the scarf, so it can be either viewed as a design element to mark the center OR I can choose to say it's "my signature" thus making this scarf an "original"!

I've also completed knitting the bag and both I-cord straps of the "Night Garden Felted Evening Bag". Now, all that's left is to knit 3 flowers and 3 leaves before it's ready to felt!

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Wow! At the "Whisperwood Irregulars" (the rather "irregular" name for one of the spinning groups I belong to), we have a new spinner, Gabriella. She's been to the Knit Knutz knitting group a few times, but I had no idea she was a spinner.

I just LOVE how she got her spinning wheel. She LITERALLY traded a motorcycle for her Ashford Traditional spinning wheel. Is that fabulous or what????? Nothing like trading one set of wheels for another, eh? (As you can see from the background, our meeting place is held in a very "fibery place" - my friend Lissa's fiber studio....you can see lots of wool, fibers, another wheel, and all kinds of fiber related gear and books in the background.

I finally finished my first skein for the "Spin to Knit" swap. I just need to set the twist and ship it off. Then, I need to start planning the February skein. (Sorry, still no details to reveal as it needs to remain "anonymous" for now.)

I managed to knit some more on my mom's scarf......only ten rows, but at least I'm making progress. I've also started working on the Noni bag ("Night Garden Felted Evening Bag") that I'm making for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society auction. I need to "frog" the sides though because I'm not happy at all with how I picked up the stitches around the base.....and I want it to be perfect!

One final bit of news - three of us are planning a "Knit-a-long" for the Swallow Tail shawl starting February 1. I'm real excited about that. My secret pal from SP9 had sent me some purple Baby Silk and the pattern back in early December, and I've been wanting desperately to start it....and now, I have the project "scheduled"! Wahoo! But first, I really need to finish up the projects that are for others......so I can knit on my shawl without guilt!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Spinning Fun

I had a blast last night with some former co-workers and spinning friends. We had a major "show and tell" of our various works in progress. There were 8 of us all together! Half of us were knitting, and half were spinning. I considered this my celebration of "St. Distaff's Day" since it was the first day that I got together with spinning friends in the New Year.

I continued to work on my skein of handspun for the "Spin to Knit" exchange....I have to finish it and set the twist by the end of the week so I can ship it out next week. This should be easy since I'll be getting together with another group of spinning friends tomorrow! Oh....tomorrow, I'll also get to see my friend Danielle's new spinning wheel - her first! Wahoo!

On the knitting front, I haven't really made any more progress on my WIPs...and no, I've not started my sister's bedsocks! On the other hand, I've almost got my final package together for my SP9 Secret Pal. It's hard to believe it, but the exchange will be over at the end of the month! Then comes the long wait for SP10!

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Very Productive Week....

I had a fabulous week! I got a lot of spinning and knitting accomplished.....and even completed a UFO! Wahoo!

Yesterday, we had our Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanza etc. gift exchange at Knit Knutz and I received the most fabulous Fleece Artist hand-painted sock wool in various shades of blue. It's absolutely fabulous! (Thanks Karen!!!!) A few of my friends seemed a bit disturbed by the amount of "cuddling" I did with the yarn, but I couldn't help it! It's such wonderful yarn it "demanded" to be cuddled!

My friend Lisa gave me some fabulous "Shimmer" yarn from Knit Picks - 70% Alpaca and 30% wool. It's absolutely fabulous as well. The colors are wonderful - bright purple, bright turquoise, and bright pink. Yum!


1. Finished the Ladder Shawl (out of "Little Flowers" and a lace weight mohair.)

2. Completed several more rows of my mom's scarf in the multi-colored Merino that I hand spun.

3. Completed the knitting of my friend's scarf in dark blue tweedy Inca Alpaca.

4. Completed spinning and plying 3 skeins of the awful blue wool with flecks of denim (aka dryer lint with chunks!).

5. FINALLY started spinning the wool for my "Spin to Knit" Secret Pal - sorry, no details because I don't want to give it away.

6. Contacted my "Bag Swap" secret pal and purchased the bag for the swap. Now, I just need to get the yarn and a pattern! (I also need to pick up a few little "gifty" items as well!)

Oh....here's a "progress shot" of my mom's scarf - I really like how this looks - this is actually the WRONG side, but I like the patterning better on the wrong side!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Yesterday, I thought, "Wow! It's really great ending the year knitting with my knitting friends." Today, I STARTED the year with not one but two groups of knitting friends! What a great way to start the year!

Best of all, I kept to my "knitting resolutions" and completed one of my WIPs - the Ladder Shawl in purple "Little Flowers" from Crystal Palace and a very thin black mohair! All I have to do tonight is weave in the ends.

First stop was Amy's. We knitted to our hearts' content. We also shared black-eyed peas for good luck and greens for wealth. Sue brought a fabulous black eyed pea dish called "Texas Caviar" - I normally am not keen on these beans, but this recipe actually makes them taste good! The greens were also quite good - it had bits of ham and a garlic rice vinegar....mmmmm! We also had some specialty sodas, brie and crackers, and pineapple. Then, we knitted some more and finished off the day with a rousing game of "Blokus".

Tiffany is holding up her nearly done shawl.....it's a bit sparkly and a very cheery orange - a wonderful contrast to the gloomy fog that's rolled in today! (In the bottom left corner, you can "just make out" Amy's dog, Daisy - she's snuggled up near the wall. If you double click on the picture, you'll see a larger version of the picture and can see Daisy much better!)

Brittaney is holding up the Mananita Shawl that Tiffany just finished. I just LOVE the color! It's absolutely stunning!

Ferol's snuggling with her latest work-in-progress, a cuddly blanket - probably for herself. It's very damp and a bit chilly out today, so it makes keeping the blanket VERY appealing. Georgia shows off her missing front teeth......and all she wanted for Christmas "were her two front teeth!" - LOL!!!!

The next picture (from left to right) shows me with my Ladder Shawl nearly done, Sue with the shawl she's currently knitting (sorry - the name of the pattern escapes me), and Amy with the purple coat she's piecing together (yes, the fun part is done......all she has left is the finishing!)

Sue's all snuggled into a very comfy chair, still knitting away on her shawl. Her only complaint is that though she knits, and knits, and knits, the ball of yarn NEVER seems to get any smaller! Georgia is keeping Amy's other dog, Dodger, company....he's a bit left out of all the activity since he's not a knitter......and with everyone else knitting, he feels he's just not getting enough attention!

The body of Amy's pullowver out of Cotton Twist is complete.......what a wonderful feeling! Check out the very even stitching - it's lovely! Now....to just attach the arms!

Speaking of the arms of Amy's sweater.....here's Tiffany trying to help out. (Poor Tiffany....she's busy working on other people's projects and not getting anything done on her own!) Oh.....in this picture, you can also see most of Ferol's I-Dog (Sally) and it's special pink carrier. High tech pets....who knew?

The gorgeous stitch markers were a gift handcrafted just for me by Tiffany, Brittaney and Georgia. I just love them! The colors are perfect! (Sorry my picture taking capabilities aren't quite up to the same quality!!!!)

On to Catherine's.....

I was a bit late, so I missed out on the knitting, but arrived just in time to ogle Christmas gifts, flip through some fabulous new knitting books, and share in some of Catherine's fabulous home made gumbo! It was wonderful - full of shrimp, chicken, sausage, okra, and all kinds of fabulous flavors. For dessert, she had very traditional holiday fare: Sugar Plums (I'd never had real ones....they were delicious!), Dates, Ricotta Cake, Italian Fruitcake (VERY good.....definitely NOT your traditional fruit cake) and some very decadent chocolate. (Of course, I tried them all!)

Catherine with her new toy by the Christmas tree - a K'NEX roller coaster. It's quite cute.....and she had a fabulous time putting it together. It was fascinating to watch in operation. See.....we're NEVER too old for clever toys!

Here's the bunch of us....posing with our projects just before eating. From left to right: Gretchen has just started the Fiber Trends "Flower Basket" shawl....it's gorgeous! I'm holding the Ladder Shawl that I completed earlier (at Amy's). Lisa and Catherine are holding up the gorgeous lace shawl that Cathering completed. It's a bit hard to see, but since Lisa's clothes are light, it helps set off the lace and you can see a bit of the pattern. Finally, here's Lisa holding up her latest work in progress - a pull-over sweater in Fisherman's wool.

That's how I spent the first day of the New Year. How did you spend yours?